Tim Berners-Lee is a British computer scientist who invented the World Wide Web. He also created the first web browser and editor. The world's first website, http://info.cern.ch, was launched on 6 August 1991. It explained the World Wide Web concept and gave users an introduction to getting started with their own websites. He has since worked with the UK government to help make data more open and accessible on the Web. Berners-Lee is one of two key figures behind data.gov.uk, a UK government project to open up almost all data acquired for official purposes for free re-use.
Lee studied at The Queen's College, Oxford, from 1973 to 1976, where he received a first-class bachelor of arts degree in physics. After graduation his first job was as a software engineer at a telecommunications company in Dorset where he helped create type-setting software for printers.
Berners-Lee worked as an independent contractor at CERN from June to December 1980. This required being based at the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva. Whilst there proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. To demonstrate his idea, he built a prototype system named ENQUIRE.
After leaving CERN in late 1980, he went to work for another Dorset based company where he ran the company's technical side for three years. The project he worked on was a "real-time remote procedure call" gaining Berners Lee valuable experience in computer networking. In 1984, he returned to CERN as a fellow
Between 1984 and 1989 CERN became established as home to a major European Internet node. In 1989, Berners Lee saw an opportunity to marry up his hypertext concept with the Internet, to create a system for sharing and distributing information not just within a company, but globally. He named it the World Wide Web. He also designed and built the first Web browser and the first Web server to make the idea come to life
The world's first website, http://info.cern.ch, was launched on 6 August 1991. It explained the World Wide Web concept and gave users an introduction to getting started with their own websites.
In 1994, Berners Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium at the Laboratory of Computer Science (LCS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. He has served as director of the consortium ever since. He also works as a senior research scientist at LCS which has now become the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Berners Lee was named in Time Life magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century. He has also been knighted by the Queen in the 2004 New Year Honours "for services to the global development of the internet" and was invested formally on 16 July 2004.
On 13 June 2007, he was appointed to the Order of Merit (OM), an order restricted to 24 (living) members. Bestowing membership of the Order of Merit is within the personal powers of the Queen and does not require recommendation by ministers or the Prime Minister. He has been awarded honorary degrees from a number of Universities around the world, including Manchester where parents worked on the first commercially built computer, the Ferranti Mark 1in the 1940s, Harvard and Yale.
In 2013, he was awarded the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and on 4 April 2017, he received the 2016 ACM Turing Award "for inventing the World Wide Web, the first web browser, and the fundamental protocols and algorithms allowing the Web to scale".